The Ghost and the Balloons

Posted on July 1, 2011

I am an individual who relies on the scientific method and reason to arrive at my own conclusions, so the truth is that I cannot say whether or not the events detailed below involved ghosts. Perhaps there is some other explanation, but I honestly do not see how anything other than the paranormal could be at the heart of them. In any event, for the past 12 plus years I have been a part time bartender at a dinner house/bar located in Newark, California called Swiss Park. The main building of this facility was built in 1933 or 1934, and little has changed since that time.

The balloon incident referenced in the title occurred around 2 or 3 am on a Sunday morning during the summer a couple of years ago now. There had been a Quincea�era in our hall Saturday night, and as they often do, the party had used many blue and pink helium filled balloons as part of their decoration.

Doug, my friend and coworker was also present at the time of this particular incident. We had already completed virtually all of the work necessary to finally close the facility, meaning that all the windows and doors were shut tight, all but a couple of lights were off, and no fans were running, so the air was virtually still. The ceiling in the bar area is only a couple of feet higher above the ground than that which exists in any typical residential building. The party had of course cleaned up almost all of the balloons before they left, but a couple had remained that were stuck high up on the hall ceiling. By the time I was ready to leave however, these too had lost enough helium that they were now down on the floor. The bar area is accessed from the main hall through two large sliding doors that were wide open as the following events began to unfold.

I was telling Doug that he needed to wrap things up in the kitchen area because it was nearly time to go when a blue balloon came bouncing into the bar area from the main hall. When I say it was bouncing I mean it was moving forward by hitting the ground and rising 3 to 4 feet and then it would glide back to the ground as it continued to move forward and then bounce up again as it hit the ground. The pace forward was faster than the average person walks so it definitely seemed that this balloon was moving with a purpose. This idea was reinforced because after the balloon bounced into the bar it made a left turn of sorts around a bar table and then continued to bounce straight towards the east wall. After just about 3 bounces it had reached the end of the bar itself and the balloon made a sharp right turn and headed towards an exit door that was closed. Right before this is reached however there is an opening that we use to access the working side of the bar and the balloon made another sharp right turn and bounced behind the bar coming straight towards me as I watched stunned by the whole thing. It Took one complete bounce and then when it hit the ground for the second bounce instead of moving any further forward the balloon traveled straight up into the air until it reached the ceiling and as soon as it reached the ceiling it came straight back down and hit the exact same spot it had launched straight up from just a couple of moments before.

Once it hit the floor the balloon went straight back up yet again until it hit the ceiling, and then came down once more to the same spot. This same cycle was repeated both a third and a fourth time. Since I had noted the balloon the moment it had bounced into the bar I had pointed it out immediately to Doug and we were both pretty much transfixed by the whole thing. I suppose I was anticipating the balloon to rise yet again to the ceiling but it did not and it just kind of rolled gently off to the side as soon as it came down from the ceiling the 4th time. However, out of the corner of my eye almost instantaneously when the blue balloon stopped bouncing, a pink balloon came bouncing into the bar area from the hall just exactly the same way the blue balloon had. This balloon also moved down and around behind the bar and when it got to the same spot the blue balloon had moved up to the ceiling from it began doing this as well. Once again it rose and fell 4 times, and then the event was apparently over.

Now not unexpectedly I presume, once these events began to unfold it did not take me long to start becoming fairly freaked out by what was occurring. I had recognized from the beginning that the speed with which the balloon was traveling forward and up and down vertically exceeded the pace one would expect from the presence of helium in the balloon. It was almost as if a hand was holding each balloon and moving it straight up and down at a steady but fairly rapid pace. Doug of course had moved to the bar stool directly in front of where the blue balloon was traveling up and down behind the bar before it had completed its fourth trip up and down. As soon as he got there he began saying gently, �Come on Beannie give me the balloon.� and other things of a similar nature. He continued doing this throughout the time the pink balloon was doing its thing as well, while I was telling him to get his things because we were now leaving immediately.

The whole thing happened within a span of perhaps 20 to 30 seconds although it seemed so much longer at the time, but 20 to 30 seconds of something like this I would venture is a very long time for this type of sustained activity. Although I never felt any danger being present to my well being I wanted to get out of there quickly at that point in time, while Doug wanted to hang out longer and he kept calling for Beannie to lift up the balloons again. A couple of moments after the movement had stopped I gained the nerve to walk down the bar to where the incident took place and I looked around to see if I could find anything that might explain why it happened, but the air was still in the area and there seemed no earthly reason this should have happened. I quickly thought that perhaps someone had controlled the balloons movements via some sort of remote control, so I quickly popped both balloons looking for some foreign device inside of them but there were was nothing in them but helium.

At that point since I was the person in charge I absolutely insisted that Doug get up because we were leaving immediately and we did. Now, I cannot say that this was the first weird thing I had ever witnessed at Swiss Park, but it was by far the most dramatic and in my mind it still is. Prior to this the things I had witnessed were on a much smaller scale and I felt there could be some regular explanations for them. What I had noted previously was that at times when I shut off some of the various televisions that were on in the bar just before I left, at times they would click right back on for no apparent reason several seconds later. The other thing that happened almost routinely was that some internal doors that needed to be shut in order to get the alarm properly set would somehow become ajar again even after I had just closed them and moved right back to the alarm controls. One time when I was there while a previous bartender was closing this occurred 4 times and the door that kept reopening was the one furthest from the control panel on the property. After the fourth time the bartender cried out in desperation, �Beannie, I am tired and need to go home, please let me go OK?� After he said that while he closed the door it remained shut, and finally he was able to set the alarm.

Although I realize that there could be some other reason these doors would become ajar upon occasion, like for example a warped door that would tend to move as the humidity dropped, if the cause were something of this nature one would expect to receive many false alarms. You see if the same movements that made it impossible to set the alarm occurred after the alarm was already set, the alarm would go off, but this never happened to my knowledge. Still to this day getting the alarm set quite often entails a couple of trips back and forth to shut doors that have somehow become ajar again even after you know that you closed them, but once the alarm is set, there is never a problem with them opening again.

Another frequent oddity involves a halogen light located outside the kitchen door that the person who is last to leave must use as their point of exit after they set the alarm. There are two locks on this kitchen door, one for the door handle that can be locked before the door is closed and another deadbolt above the handle that must necessarily be locked only after the person closes that door for the final time. The halogen light provides great lighting when it is on but getting a key in the lock can be problematic without that light because this is a very dark corner when that light is out.

Although halogen lights do regularly go out by design if and when they get overly hot I have found that it is almost uncanny how often this particular light goes out the precise moment that you need it to stay on. It is almost as if someone is laughing at you because it is bright one moment and then just as you start reaching for the lock but before you have focused in on the precise spot you need to aim for with the key in your hand, the light goes out and suddenly you are in utter darkness. This happens I would say nearly 50% of the time when I am finally leaving for the night and this seems to be beyond mere coincidence. I cannot say why this happens so frequently but two possible reasons jump into my mind all the time. First, perhaps some entity just thinks this is funny and never tires of the same old joke so they just keep on doing it. Or perhaps this entity or whatever it is simply does not want to be left alone and they are trying to prolong the time that someone stays with them. Who knows, all I can tell you is that this one happens so frequently it has become downright annoying if you ask me.

There is one other final incident however that I believe people might be interested in. This occurred several months after the balloon incident but still well over a ear ago now. It happened once again on an early Sunday morning following a Saturday party but this one had been a spaghetti feed used as a fundraiser for a local football program for kids. The party had utilized quite a few black plastic spaghetti forks to serve the pasta and they had decided to �donate� them to Swiss Park by leaving them behind. One of them had been left on top of an emergency exit sign above the double doors at the front of the hall. I noted it as I was locking those particular doors so I retrieved it and had it in my hand as I traveled into the bar. For some reason I can no longer recall I ended up throwing that spaghetti fork back out into the hall and it came to rest about 15 feet from the sliding door, so it was about 30 to 35 feet from the bar itself. Once again my friend Doug was there and this time Ed was there as well who is a customer/friend. The two of them were sitting on some stools in front of the bar just to my right chatting with each other while I was finishing up a few last items. Virtually everything was done in terms of locking doors and the lights were already out in the hall section of the building. Suddenly out of seemingly nowhere that black spaghetti fork bounced off the rubber bar mat that was about 18 inches in front of me and then hit me in the chest.

My first thought was that either Doug or Ed must have thrown it at me, but when I asked them about it they were unaware of what I was talking about and I actually had to work hard to get them to focus enough on what I was saying to realize what must have just happened. That spaghetti fork had to have flown about 30 to 35 feet through the air before it hit the bar mat and I had just caught a glimpse of it myself as I was not looking straight forward at the time. They apparently simply never saw it because they were focusing directly on each other. So somehow despite the fact that no one was present who could have thrown this object it moved a good distance through the air and eventually hit me. Also of note is that when I was hit I was standing basically in the exact same spot where the balloons had previously traveled from the ground to the ceiling and back.

The last thing I think I should explain is all the talk about �Beannie� that Doug was doing. Beannie is the name of a Swiss gentleman who actually died inside the building quite a few years ago. He was a member of the club who apparently had a significant drinking problem and his immediate family had kicked him out of his own home. He had no where to go so the powers that be decided that at least on a temporary basis Beannie could sleep in a small room that is located at the top of some stairs that are located on the stage in the hall. In return for this Beannie did some light janitorial work that is of course when he was not just plain getting drunk on all the booze this made available to him24/7. Do not ask my why anyone would do this when the individual at issue was clearly an alcoholic, but they did it, and he drank, and after several weeks they found him dead one morning slumped over the stainless steal prep table in the kitchen where he had apparently been sitting and getting drunk but finally went to far. Even before I worked at Swiss Park and I was just a customer I had heard about Beannie and I was told that he is the one haunting the place. I of course have passed this on to many people from time to time including Doug, which explains why he was asking Beannie to give him the balloon.

As I mentioned in the beginning however, I myself do not jump to assumptions and I cannot say that any of this activity is the result of a ghost or anything else. All I can say is that it happened and I cannot explain how or why these things have occurred. As a final comment I should add that a few years ago now Beanie�s daughter did wander into Swiss Park and she confirmed to me that her father had died on the premises just as I had been told that he did. Whatever is causing these strange happenings they are beyond any logical or rational cause that I can ascertain and I am not a stupid or unlearned person. I can attest that my IQ is considerably higher than average and most people who are around me for any significant amount of time believe that I am exceptionally intelligent. I am also someone who is habitually honest and I do not generally lie about anything. In fact, most people who know me well think that I am too honest because like the boy in the story, The Emperor�s New Clothes, my bluntness at times crosses a line and becomes impolite behavior. I am someone who notices details and can recall them accurately even years later and I would be happy to take any and every lie detector test anyone would like to put me through in order to test the veracity of what I have written here. I have absolutely nothing to hide and I seek nothing from anyone by relating these events. I simply want them to be known and if anyone is interested in speaking with me about this more I would be happy to do so.

Sent in by Walter Husmann, Copyright 2011

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2 Responses to “The Ghost and the Balloons”
  1. Moya says:

    I think that is crazy. The balloon thing. I know i would of freaked out. I hahve my share of scary things, nothing like this.

  2. Janna says:

    Love the story and your story telling style. Wish more people could articulate their stories as well as u do. Good job lads!

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